Come here for life’s slow rhythm – and for this warm, honest and lovely family. The grandparents arrived in 1936, when the little church put the podere into their hands; they and young Michelangelo have worked the land ever since. Anyone wishing to experience ‘real’ Italian peasant life (vita del contadino) should come here; neither inside or out is fit for the fussy – but it will be a delight for open souls. Simple bedrooms, in the old hayloft and stables, have views of the church. All the food, oil and produce is deliciously Slow, while the landscape, between Chianti and Valdarno, is exquisite; you have the chestnut woods of the Chianti mountains to one side, oaks, cypresses and olives to the other. Join in with family life in the kitchen at breakfast, learn to prune vines and pick olives on the farm; gather chestnuts and wild mushrooms in the woods. Go riding or biking, then return to Grandma’s recipes – the grape flan is scrumptious and there are freshly baked cakes and passion fruit for breakfast. Michelangelo is a dear, talks to the animals as though they were family and speaks brilliant English.